When it comes to kids’ makeup, safety should be the top priority for parents. Several ingredients commonly found in cosmetics can potentially harm a child’s delicate skin. Among them are parabens, artificial dyes, fragrances, talc, silicones, polyethylene terephthalate (glitters), and more. While some ingredients may not be harmful to the skin, it’s essential to be mindful of their impact on the environment as well. Additionally, the manufacturing processes and regulations in different countries can impact product safety. In this article, we will explore the toxic chemicals to avoid in kids’ makeup, including the environmental concerns associated with certain ingredients, the harmful effects of fragrances as hormone disruptors, and provide tips on how to select safe and suitable products for your child.
I. Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Kids’ Makeup:
- Parabens: Commonly used as preservatives, parabens can disrupt hormones, which is particularly concerning for growing children.
- Artificial Dyes and Fragrances: These can cause allergies and skin irritation. Opt for products free from synthetic colours and fragrances.
- Talc: Found in powders, talc has been linked to respiratory issues and can be contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
- Silicones: While silicones, such as dimethicone, are generally considered safe for skin use, they pose environmental hazards as they do not break down and contribute to pollution. When washed off, these silicones can end up in waterways, harming aquatic life and ecosystems.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (Glitters): Glitters are often made of polyethylene terephthalate, which classifies as a ‘micro-plastic’ and can have detrimental effects on the environment.
- Lead: Present in some lipsticks, lead is dangerous, especially for young children. It can lead to lead poisoning and irreversible neurological effects. Refrain from using adult lip products on kids.
- Mineral Oil: Although commonly used in cosmetics, there are concerns about the potential side effects of regular use. Consider alternatives to products containing mineral oil.
- FD&C Colours: Some synthetic dyes derived from coal tar may be contaminated with carcinogens and allergens. Look for products without FD&C colours.
11. Fragrances as Hormone Disruptors: Fragrances can be particularly concerning as they have been linked to endocrine disruption. The endocrine system plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including growth and development, metabolism, and reproductive processes. Hormone-disrupting chemicals in fragrances can mimic or interfere with the body’s natural hormones, leading to potential adverse effects on children’s health and development.
According to a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, about half of the 187 products for kids (cosmetic products such as face paints, makeup, and personal care products) tested, contained fragrance as an ingredient. It’s essential to be cautious when selecting makeup products for children and prioritize those without added fragrances to reduce the risk of potential hormone disruption and skin irritation.
III. What to Look for When Buying Kids’ Makeup:
- Non-Toxic and Hypoallergenic: Choose products labeled as non-toxic and hypoallergenic, indicating safer ingredients for sensitive skin.
- Fragrance-Free: Fragrances, commonly found in many cosmetics, personal care, cleaning, and household products, can contain a mixture of hundreds of chemicals. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the specific ingredients in fragrances due to proprietary information. Consequently, some fragrances may contain toxic carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, skin irritants, and allergens. These harmful chemicals in fragrances can be absorbed through the skin and potentially disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in children.
- Transparent Ingredients: Trustworthy brands should disclose all ingredients, including fragrances, allowing you to make informed decisions about the product’s safety.
- Age Guidelines: Consider age recommendations on products to ensure they are suitable for your child’s age group.
- Patch Test: Always perform a patch test before using a new product to check for potential allergic reactions or skin irritation.
IV. Nail Polish Example: Here is just one example of an ingredient list of a nail polish from a makeup company that prides itself on making makeup for children with clean ingredients. Please note that while this nail polish appears to be formulated with safer ingredients, it is essential to look for products that are free from harmful chemicals and comply with safety standards.
- Aqua (Water)
- Polyurethane Polymer
- Acrylates Copolymers May Contain (+/-):
- Iron Oxides (C.l 77491, C.l 77492, C.l 77499)
- Titanium Dioxide (C.l 77891)
- Chromium Oxide Greens (C.l 77288)
- Ferric Ferrocyanide (C.l 77510)
- Carmine (C.l 75470)
- Ultramarine Blue (C.l 77007)
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (Glitters*)
Conclusion: By being aware of toxic chemicals and reading product labels carefully, you can ensure your child’s safety while they enjoy their makeup playtime. Avoid products containing harmful ingredients, such as parabens, artificial dyes, fragrances, and more, and opt for non-toxic, age-appropriate, and transparently labelled makeup. Additionally, consider the environmental impact of certain ingredients, such as silicones and micro-plastics, and make choices that promote not only your child’s well-being but also the health of our planet.
Buyer beware: Unfortunately, when looking at kids’ makeup for sale on Amazon and other online platforms, it can be challenging to find out what ingredients are in the makeup. Even some companies advertising their children’s makeup as non-toxic and environmentally friendly may contain harmful chemicals. It is crucial to research and be vigilant when selecting makeup products for your children. Look for reputable brands that prioritize safety and transparency in their ingredients.
By following these guidelines and researching product ingredients, you can make informed decisions that allow your little ones to enjoy their makeup playtime without compromising their health and the environment’s safety. Be especially cautious of products containing fragrances, as they can be hormone disruptors and potentially harmful to your child’s health. Let’s ensure that kids’ makeup becomes not only a source of joy and creativity for children but also a safe and environmentally responsible choice for parents.